I was at a small gun show and I meet a guy that has a BCD 43 K98k in a metal shipping box with address of owner and it also indicates Trophy rifle with certificate inside above the address. With my old 2003 mac I not see the photos posted on the k98k forum. Here is the link
http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php ... ble-or-not. I asked the owner to join our forum and post clear photos of the box and rifle. I realize this post is useless unless he actually posts some detailed photos. Unfortunetly one can not see pics on the other forum unless you sign in. Bummer.
Here are some observations from seeing the rifle and box in person and talking to an old guy that collected K98s back in the 1970s that was also making some observations about the rifle. It is dissembled and incrusted with thick hard cosmo on the metal parts. It is hard and ancient cosmo. It is not newly applied and it's on thick, so thick you can not see the small markings. The metal parts are all covered in thick Cosmo and wrapped in a WW II black paper like wrap. The stock was not inside the wrap. I am unsure if it had cosmo on it or not. I think that most cosmo on the stock came from a transfer from the cosmo sticky wrap containing the metal parts. See my comments about the stock.
The rifle has what appears to be a bolt that is definitely mismatched to the receive, but on the few numbers on the bolt that I could see it appears to match itself. So the rifle bolt does not match the rifle. It gets worse, the floor plate number is also a mismatch to the receiver and the bolt, so 3 different serial numbers are present on this K98k Mauser. The receiver has a normal blue like a normal well used bring back K98 and it is marked with code BCD 43 with dirty birds intact- no pings. I did not look at the screws and the front band is stamped and the rear band is milled. I could not see any serial numbers on the parts; but we left them as is and did not clean any of the thick cosmo off. The metal parts were wrapped in a WWII black wrap that I have seen on original WW II NOS jeep and aircraft parts. This is a real thing, not some fake wrap and the older collector said in the 1970s he encountered K98 rifles shipped in this sort of reused metal container with a reenforced paper wrap around parts coated with cosmo. I have never seen an original K98 bring back in its shipping crate. So by going what the older collector indicated, it's a real thing as far as the packaging and age of the patina and a correct shipping box. I forgot to see what shipping stamps or if it said "free to us armed forces" are on the metal tin. There is a return address, a send to address, and some kind of postage stuff in the right upper side that I failed to note. After I think about what I saw, I forgot to notice lots of the finer points.
So the rifle stock is another odd thing. It was a German blond and some on the k98 forum said it was sanded, but that is not the case. The hand guard serial number matched the receiver number. The stock had a thin varnish and some areas of slightly darker color under the points where the bands go. It is possible the stock was cleaned of cosmo with some cleaner and a somewhat abrasive cloth like a green scrubby, or fine steel wool, or maybe just a coarse rag. I do not really know. But the stock has no German cartouche stamps except for a B in the sling cut. The stock was cleaned of cosmo and it appears the cosmo may have soften the original surface finish color and BLO ??? -- I do not kown, but it left the laminated stock a Blond color with just some original areas of finish that have a varnish shine. Generally years of cosmo on wood cause the stock to absorb the grease and darken the stock. Who ever removed the cosmo slightly or maybe drastically, has altered the finish. I have no idea other than the areas under the bands showing evidence of darker color, and if the stock surface matched the wear pattern of the metal, they both should show matching aged patina. I would think the stock should show some color and wear to the stock. There are scratches and dings that do not show a deep color to the inside of the scratch. It was not sanded or re stained over the few dings and dents of a used K98. They look like normal scratches on a stock that may not have been coated with cosmo. Maybe the stock just had some cosmo from the sticky paper that got onto the stock and that small amount was cleaned off the stock. So the stock is original and the hand guard matches the receiver number-- just that is was cleaned, and maybe the cleaning solution took some of the original varnish off. So its altered a wee bit so that it is odd. I would think it would have some color rather than a blond "Mitchell-like look. The light color of the wood is odd for the degree of blue wear that I could see on the receiver by the code markings. It is the original matching stock for the action serial #. I can not think why someone would coat the stock with cosmo-- its wood not metal for shipping?
I looked up the code and date in Law( 2003), and on p.212 it indicates the bands should both be milled and it has a stamped front band that is incorrect for a BCD 43. So it is a miss matched K98 by serial number and part type for a BCD K98 that was sent home. Why such a poor example;unless the Capt. was an office pog that did not get near the action and grabbed or traded for any rifle he could find???? Looks like the box and shipping materials and tags are worth more than the rifle. Other parts are covered or still hidden in the paper. Maybe the cleaning rod and a sling are wrapped up inside the wrap still protected/hidden by the cosmo. Only the bolt, bands, and barrel/receiver action was out of the wrap. It has about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of hardened cosmo covering the parts and there markings.
Then the owner pointed out that the barrel is in the white. The barrel is not blued all the way down. It should have grooves for a sight hood- I failed to look for this and no sight hood was mounted on the barrel. I also noticed that while the dirty bird stamps are present on the right side, there is no barrel serial number on the barrel, at least not present where it would be normally stamped. So the barrel is in the white for most of it, and no matching serial number on it, at least located adjacent to the receiver number near the dirty birds on the barrel. This may be odd. I just do not know enough about K98 markings and what is correct for each code. Would an arsenal repair guy replace a barrel in the white and not restamp a serial number?? Now granted, there is 1/4 inch thick had as rock cosmo over the action and it's possible a serial number may have been stamped at another location on that barrel that remains unseen. Anyone know where it would most likely be restamped if it is an arsenal or field replacement? I would think if it went back to a factory for repair, the bolt would be headspaced like new and the barrel and bolt force matched to the rifle???? Is that a common practice in the German repair of arms?? Or would it be left unstamped on the barrel and any old bolt reused and left unrematched??? Why send home such a mismatched K98? They guy was a captain so you think he could get a better specimen near the end of the war. I also failed to note the shipping date on the container. I wonder if it was early, late , or possible a post war shipping date. I'd feel better if it was an all matching, except for the bolt K98. It also would have been much better if the former owner did not clean the wood. But it is, what it is. The mixed rifle is nothing special. The mystery stock hurts its value, patina of the metal suggests some use to the rifle. But the stock patina should also indicate a more beat/used stock finish. It had to have been cleaned. However, it is the original stock. Value would be more than an common code RC, but less than a rare code RC or a common code French capture and much less than a nice matching bring back. The shipping container is far more interesting than the rifle. As far as bring backs, the k98 is the worse you could find. I would rather have one of the early 1980s german k98 imports with just the import mark on it. At least those matched except for a bolt.
So as for value, I thought, altered stock finish- but not sanded, mismatched numbers on parts and the bolt, and no serial# on the barrel- all odd, and incorrect milled vs stamped parts... figure $500-700. It would be great for a small museum display on vets day to have the box. In my world, it is best to keep the dog K98 metal in cosmo for a display of how a k98 was sent home and have it on display at a local museum of vets day display. By itself the rifle is not a money maker. The box and the way its packaged is the jewel.
So in an effort to get some of our K98 collectors thinking about this k98, I thought it would be a great post to learn from if Tom can join our forum and post some detailed pictures of the rifle and box. I told him to leave the rifle's condition as is and not to do any cleaning. It is a fantastic conversation piece.
I hope he provides tons of photos so this can be a great contribution to the forum. We shall see. Maybe some can see the photos he posted on the K98k forum. The rifle is real, and the box is real, just that it's a really
mismatched dog as far as collectable K98s go. I did not bother to see if the cleaning rod, sling, or sight hood was with in the packaging?
Tom here is the link to common gun show K98 mausers if you can not connect by by email:
ANOTHER FACT IS WHO IT CAME FROM, a non gun guy, his grandfather had it and he could care less, hence he sold it, but wanted to keep the papers??? I just emailed the owner and the papers serial number did match the rifle serial number on the receiver. Unfortunately the guy is an odd duck. He will not provide the new owner even a photo copy of the papers. This is strange or he thought its a nice cheep keepsake where the rifle got him some cash. The Key would be, what serial number is on the papers. This has been confirmed --- it does. The current owner got it from a person who could care less about history and wanted fast cash on the cheep. Hence, it was not sold by the grandson for big bucks- it was just junk to get some fast money from. All of its provenience points to original. Heck one can do a search on the vets history at fold3 .com and see wher and when he was overseas. It should match the ship stamp postal date on the box which is also not known by me.
The new owner indicated this about its history:
This has been examined by both a professional firearms appraiser and a highly regarded Smith with nearly 50 yrs experience. Both regard the package as a legitimate war trophy. Both had different opinions as to assemble or leave as is. That was the primary reason for bringing it up here. The sellers surname matches that of his Grandfather, listed on container. He would not know how to cobble together a Mauser and magically age cosmoline . As to the timeline I did bring issue up on another forum I was once active on. At that point I was doing homework for my bud and still in market for a shooter...
I did find this lower comment interesting due to the fact of so many fakers on K98 out there. S
source is from the above 6 pages of comments at the K98K forum:
A couple years ago at the local gun show there was a guy selling an early K98 double claw sniper. A little rough but with nice blueing, it was priced very well at $4,000. It came in an equally nice transit chest which looked the part with a separate compartment for the scope. Seller claimed it was a bring back he got directly from the vet's family. He didn't have bring back papers but why would the family lie about the rifle, they didn't even understand what it was.
Then he locked the scope into the mounts. It was period correct but it wasn't what I expected to see, if memory serves me right it was a Goerz hunting scope. Well, maybe the vet found the rifle without the scope or the original scope had been damaged over the years and been replaced with something that worked and kinda looked correct. Then I noticed the trigger guard number and floor plate number didn't match the receiver and barrel number. The bolt was matching but only in itself.
It started to make no sense. Upon closer inspection I noticed the dovetail in the receiver ring didn't look like an armorer's job, just too crude. The rear claw mount, well, it had two different screws and in the very back it had been tack welded to the receiver. And then I discovered the import mark under the barrel near the muzzle. When I pointed it out to the seller, he put the rifle back in the box and closed the lid, totally ignoring me after that. I ran into a couple acquaintances later that day who were excited to tell me about the "sniper" they just saw.
So much for rifles in a box and bring back claims. If there's no document specifically declaring this mismatched rifle (serial number) a war time trophy, it has no resale value above the sum of all parts. Its value is $700 - $800 --with or without the nasty coat of cosmolene-- plus another $200 for the box. Without capture papers, anything above this is what people are willing to pay for a well told fairy tale.
And no, it is not common for Gustloff made rifles to be mismatched. It is not common for any K98 to be mismatched. Why first serialize parts to one rifle and then use the parts on a different rifle? Making a damaged or incomplete rifle battle ready with mismatched parts probably happened in the field but was not common practice. From what we know today, bolt mismatch most likely happened when the major East coast arms importers brought huge numbers of WW2 rifles stateside.